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The Scriptorium

Such Great Grace

For all our times of need! Luke 7.11-15

Luke 7 (2)

Pray Psalm 107.1-3.
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
And gathered out of the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.

Sing Psalm 107.1-3.
(Faithfulness: Great Is Thy Faithfulness)
Lord, You are good, we give thanks and we praise You!
Your steadfast love will forever endure.
Let the redeemed, who from trouble You rescue,
gather and say that Your mercy is sure!
Refrain vv. 1-3
Lord, for Your wondrous works, and for Your steadfast love,
we give You thanks, we exalt Your great Name!
We who from east and west, north and south gather,
boldly redemption in Christ we proclaim!

Read Luke 7.1-15; meditate on verses 11-15.

1. How did Jesus look upon the dead man’s mother?

2. What did He do next?

Here is the very picture of the grace of God at work. Three aspects of grace may be discerned. First is the divine disposition, an attitude or inclination of favor which arises from within God Himself. Here that gracious disposition takes the form of compassion for a weeping mother (vv. 11-13). Jesus knew neither this woman nor her son, and certainly they had done nothing “deserving” of the grace He would show them. This attitude of grace welled up from within Jesus out of the nature of Who He is.

Second, grace is a divine communication fraught with hope and promise. Here we see this in two ways, first, when Jesus comforts the dead man’s mother: “Do not weep” (v. 13); second, when He speaks to the dead man, calling him to arise (v. 14). It will do us no good to know that God looks favorably upon us unless He Himself deigns to tell us so. As Jesus does here with this woman and her son, God does with us through His Word and Son and Spirit.

Finally, grace is divine operative power to accomplish the loving purposes of God. We see this as the dead man sat up and began to speak (v. 15). How could he do this? Only by the grace of God, just as, only by the grace of God we are able to come alive in Jesus and call our gracious God “Father!” (Gal. 4.6)

That we are forgiven, justified, born again, adopted into the family of God, and conveyed into His Kingdom is all by the grace of God – His favorable disposition toward us, His life-giving Word, and His powerful work of salvation. We realize this great grace by faith, which is itself a gift of God’s grace (Eph. 2.8, 9). We were dead in our trespasses and sins, and God, by His great grace, made us alive in Jesus. Oh! The wonder of it all!

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
The scene set for us is a noisy, chaotic one. As Jesus traveled to Nain, many of His disciples and a large crowd went with Him. Then, with the widow and her dead son was another large crowd. At some point they all converged. Can you hear the sounds? Lots of talking, people jostling about, animals braying, folks shouting, and weeping. And then amidst all this noise and chaos, Jesus saw this brokenhearted woman, and His heart overflowed with compassion for her. “Do not weep”, He said to her. And then He remedied the cause of her weeping. “Young man, I say to you, arise” (Lk. 7.14).

All through Jesus’ time on earth He was doing the very things that He said He would do. He was fulfilling the prophecy about Himself which He had read to those in the synagogue: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD” (Lk. 4.18, 19; Is. 61.1, 2). The brokenhearted woman of Nain would certainly attest to that.

In the hubbub of life we must seek to have the same grace that Jesus possessed for the downtrodden. Noise and busyness and crowds are no excuse. This is yet another good reason to get that plank out of our own eye (Lk. 6.42), so we can better see those in our Personal Mission Field who are in need.

We have all experienced what this woman experienced. Without asking for it, we have been showered with the blessings of God’s grace. Each draw of breath is given by Him, and the sun shines. And of course, we have all had very personal encounters with the Lord Jesus. Didn’t He see us amidst the chaos of our own lives? Didn’t He hear our needy hearts? Weren’t we that bereft woman? “Do not weep”, He said to us. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (Jn. 11.25, 26). “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21.5). For the woman of Nain, and for me and you.

“Such Great Grace!” 

For reflection
1. How would you explain the idea of grace to an unbelieving friend?

2. How do you experience the grace of Jesus in your life each day?

3. What does it mean for you to be an agent of grace in the world (2 Cor. 4.15)?

Observe how he joins miracle to miracle. In the former instance, the healing of the centurion’s servant, he was present by invitation, but here he draws near without being invited. No one summoned him to restore the dead man to life, but he comes to do so of his own accord. Cyril of Alexandria (375-444), Commentary on Luke, Homily 36

Pray Psalm 107.33-43.
Praise God for the abundance of His grace toward you day by day. Be specific in enumerating the many ways His undeserved love reaches, refreshes, and renews you.

Sing Psalm 107.33-43.
(Faithfulness: Great Is Thy Faithfulness)
You make the desert a river o’erflowing;
You make a wasted life fruitful and strong!
You bless the hungry with fields for the sowing;
Bless and increase us who to You belong!
Refrain vv. 1-3
Lord, for Your wondrous works, and for Your steadfast love,
we give You thanks, we exalt Your great Name!
We who from east and west, north and south gather,
boldly redemption in Christ we proclaim!

When we are low, are oppressed and in sorrow,
You pour contempt on our fierce, angry foes.
We will rejoice at the hope of tomorrow:
He shall be wise who Your steadfast love knows!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

Grace is the divine power that moves the Kingdom of God. But what is grace? Our book, Grace for Your Time of Need, can help you gain a better understanding of God’s grace. Order your free copy by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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